9 Most Influential Female Drummers

Increasingly, the fair half of humanity is trying themselves in male activities, and female drummers are no exception. At the beginning of the 20th century, women who tried to make money by playing musical instruments were looked down upon. Times are changing: girls now play jazz and metal, but drums are still an exception, as the uninitiated believe that playing them requires male strength. But this is not so – watch and be surprised.

Here we presented the most famous drummers who have found their own playing style, which even men imitate. The list goes on: every year new drummers take to the stage.

Viola Smith

In the 30s, hundreds of orchestras, including women’s ones, toured America, as in the movie Some Like It Hot. Viola Smith began playing with her sisters and later performed with the most famous women’s orchestras in the country. She is now 102 years old and still plays the drums and gives lessons.

Cindy Blackman

Drummer Lenny Kravitz first sat down at the kit at the age of 6 – and away she went. After graduating from school, she entered Berklee College of Music in New York, but after a couple of semesters she dropped out and played on the street, meeting famous drummers. In 1993, she called Lenny and he asked her to play something over the phone. The next day, Cindy was already preparing for a recording session in Los Angeles. The girl constantly participates in jazz projects, and since 2013 she has been playing in Carlos Santana’s band.

Meg White

Meg plays simply and naively, but that’s the whole point of the White Stripes. No wonder this project by Jack White is more popular than others. The girl never thought about becoming a drummer; one day Jack simply asked her to play along with him, and it turned out great.

the white stripes - fell in love with a girl letterman show

Sheila I

As a child, Sheila was surrounded by musicians, her father and uncle played with Carlos Santana, another uncle became the founder of The Dragons, and her brothers also played music. The girl grew up in California and loved to spend her free time drinking lemonade and listening to local bands rehearse. During her career, she played with Prince, Ringo Starr, Herbie Hancock and George Duke. Sheila currently tours around the world with her team and performs at festivals.

Sheila E. Drum Solo!!!!

Terry Line Carrington

At the age of 7, Terry was given a drum kit from his grandfather, who played with Fats Waller and Chu Barry. Just 2 years later she performed for the first time at a jazz festival. After graduating from Berklee College, the girl played with such jazz legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, and others. Terry now teaches at Berklee and records albums with famous jazz musicians.

Terri Lyne Carrington - Message True

Jen Langer

Jen was invited to play in Skillet when she was just 18 years old, and soon won a competition for young drummers in the UK. In the group, the girl also sings along in some compositions.

Jen Ledger: DRUM Magazine Readers Poll

Mo Tucker

Primitive rhythms without cymbals became a signature feature of the Velvet Underground. Mo says that she didn’t specifically study to play in order to maintain this sound; complex breaks and rolls would completely change the group’s style. The girl wanted her rhythms to be similar to African music, but the guys couldn’t find ethnic drums in their city, so Mo played an upside-down kick drum using mallets. The girl always helped unload the instruments and stood throughout the performance so that no one would think that she was a weak girl.

The Velvet Underground-Heroin

Sandy West

The Runaways proved to everyone that girls can play hard rock just as well as men. Cindy received her first installation when she was 9 years old. At 13 she was already playing rock in local clubs, and at 15 she met Joan Jet. The girls wanted to create a girl group, and soon they found a second guitarist and bassist. The team’s success was enormous, but due to disagreements between the members, the group broke up in 1979.

THE RUNAWAYS - Wasted (1977 UK TV Appearance) ~ HIGH QUALITY HQ ~

Meital Cohen

After serving in the army, the girl moved to America to seriously play metal drums. It’s not surprising, Meital was born in Israel, and there boys and girls are drafted into the army. For several years now she has been recording videos where she replays Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest and other famous bands. During this time, a lot of fans of her playing technique and beauty appeared. Meital recently created a group to record her music.


Despite what some people think, female drummers play so musically and technically that many men can only envy. Having seen so many examples, girls are more likely to start playing percussion instruments, which means that more and more groups with drummers are appearing in the music world. Black Angels, Bikini Kills, Slits, The Go-Gos, Beastie Boys – the list is endless.

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